Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

Men die, cattle die, even the series protagonists themselves must one day die.

I have been thinking about protagonist deaths in fiction, when they work for people and when they don't. I would particularly like to hear more about what works for you in the comment section, with specific and potentially spoilery examples, so read the other comments with care if you are spoiler-sensitive.

Poll #1727111 Over Deathgate Falls

Which of the following factors affect how likely you are to be okay with the death of a protagonist?

Whether there are other protagonists I like to continue the story
54(14.1%)
Whether there are other previously non-protag secondary characters who seem capable of picking it up
34(8.9%)
Whether it fits the character's arc, dammit
75(19.6%)
How old the character is
10(2.6%)
How culpable the character is
20(5.2%)
Whether it is permanent or temporary
21(5.5%)
Where it falls in a book (middle or end)
26(6.8%)
Where it falls in a series (middle or end)
20(5.2%)
Whether I like the character
30(7.9%)
Whether I find the character interesting
21(5.5%)
Whether there is much or little denouement
28(7.3%)
What is going on in my own life at the time I first read the story
22(5.8%)
I never like protagonists dying.
9(2.4%)
I always like protagonists dying. Also other characters. The more doom the better.
6(1.6%)
Something else I will kindly explore in comments
6(1.6%)


PS No, I am not thinking of killing off Carter. As far as I know, Carter does not die. Bullets can't...wait, that's something else.
Tags: dad said to learn something, dots and dashes, full of theories, random questions
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  • Cabbage, Radishes, Pearl

    Dear Great-Grandma, I was in the store just after 6 this morning, beating the crowds to get my Thanksgiving supplies. The clerk said to me,…

  • She knows I wrote this for her.

    Here’s one from the archives today: The Troll (A Tale Told Collectively) “Because Aunt Margit knows that the stories must be…

  • And by “people,” I mean….

    I was on the phone with my favorite great-aunt today, and I told her that I had been going through my stories in a particular setting, writing down…